The timing felt right to share this little bit of information with you guys. I've known about this for a bit now, but never really bothered to write it down for those of you who left me comments a long while back.
Very elusive with the cryptic, right? Let me explain:
Just before the mass migration to that shitty .tv site and the new headmasters taking over, I wrote a blog about regrets. (I think I was all droopy with Sinatra that evening; its probably called 'Regrets I've Had A Few' or something just as unoriginal as that. I couldn't be bothered to go back and see.) Anyway, I spouted off a few regrets I've had in life, the biggest one being not taking a chance on a certain gal in my life who I let slip through the cracks. I said that not taking a chance with her and telling said lady how I really felt about her was a huge regret. A lot of you (mostly old and long-gone bloggers, but some still current ones) gave me some great advice. The best was from Sindicate, who, foregoing his normal 'Canada Sucks' stuff, told me to get out of my ass and call her....more or less, anyway.
So I did....sort of. I used the tools of my trade and tracked down her friend to see what she was up to. You know, case the joint before going in head-first. Get a sense of what contact with her might yield.
I got my answer.
This girl, whom I used to consider my best friend at some point in my life, had moved onward and upward after our falling out. She re-located to a town somewhat close by out in the country area. Lovely green surroundings, minimal neighbours to bother you, lots of fresh air, all that shit. She was doing great at her job, got a promotion apparently, and was enjoying herself and her accomplishments.
One evening she was driving back home from visiting her parents and the country road fog was very thick. I don't know all the details, but the ending is still the same. She was hit, head-on, by a van coming the other direction. She was killed that night, alone and in the dark.
I coped with the information as best I could. (It had happened over a year before my finding out.) I did some digging, trying to find someone to blame for the incident. Neither drivers were found to have any alcohol in their systems. No drugs, no erradic driving...nothing. Just a victim of the weather conditions and a case of 'wrong place, wrong time'. The driver of the van survived the ordeal, but its not like that was a viable option for information. He probably knew less than I did. I decided to call her mum and give my condolences.
The conversation went as expected. A mixture of sad and happy; she'd had time to come to terms with what had happened so she wasn't totally off-put by the conversation. She had asked me to drop by one day if I was in the area. About a week later (unknown still to my current gal) I did. She had known me a long time, and after the requisite catching-up business, she gave me an envelope. She said that they had found so photos at her place in her dresser and thought I should have them.
The were, of course, of the two of us. Years old they were, and frayed or bent to show their age. Posing for shots at parties or concerts, playing it up for the camera, a lot of those 'didn't know a picture was being taken' types...lots and lots. Her mum told me that she had talked of me often, how she missed me or was going to find out where I lived one day and visit. "A class reunion without the asshole classmates"---her mum's exact words. Her mother told me how she ended up living way out where she did. She had broken up with some douche of a fellow, made some new friends from work who lived out that way, and fell in love with the location. Crossed paths and chance meetings led her to where she was.
After leaving with the photos, I went to visit her grave. I don't know why; never been much of a talking to the dead type. It seemed right at the time. I stood for about ten minutes, got some closure, and left her the pictures her mum had given me.
I know its silly to blame myself for her death. I didn't find out until a year later, and its not like I had anything to do with her driving that night. I don't blame myself. But, could I have prevented it? You bet your ass I could have. Had I told her the way I felt, had she told me the way she did, if I wasn't such a blind douche at the time, maybe she'd still be alive today. She would never have moved out there (I hate the country), never have found herself on that road that night, never have died. That whole crossed paths and chance meetings bit again...and again and again and again. You can't control it, or have the ability to pre-conceive it, but the after-the-fact knowledge is really pissing me off. Ain't life grand?
So this is what I lay awake and think about some nights. The life we never lived, the things I would have given up if we had of been honest with one another, all that lovely stuff that drums around the ol' brain-basket when the lights go down and the head hits the pillow. Tonight its especially present in my mind---this month would have been her 27th birthday.
I'd like to thank all those who commented on the original post; I don't remember them all but they were (mostly) helpful to me. In particular, I'd like to thank Sindicate for telling me like it is and giving me the push needed to find out. It's better to know the awful truth than to always wonder.
Thanks for reading. I know it ran a little long, but it was on my mind. (Maybe it'll be more interesting than all those pointless 'sandwiches I ate' blogs that keep appearing 'round here...maybe.) Goodnight, and thanks for letting me vent.
-The Big Bad